How to Skin a Deer
How to Skin a Deer – Overview
Learn how to properly skin a deer after your kill. Ensure that your meat is safe to eat by following these simple methods while processing your game.
Items you will need to Skin a Deer:
- Hooks from which to hang two ropes
- Very strong rope
- Sturdy pole
- A very sharp knife
Directions on How to Skin a Deer
Plan to skin a deer as soon as you can, as the task just gets harder the longer you wait. Aim to have the animal skinned within two hours of the hunt. First find the tendon that the lowest part of the leg with the rest of the leg and make a hole between the tendon and the leg bone. You can feel the lump of the double jointed bone at the end of the large leg section, cut the lower section and feet off just below that lump.
Thread a sturdy pole through the hole you made between the tendon and the bone, tie ropes to the pole and hoist your carcass till it hangs free off the floor. Once your deer is hoisted up hanging from its hind legs, take your very sharp knife and complete the cut you made while field dressing from the breastbone up to the base of the throat. As before, your knife should face blade up, resulting in a clean cut.
Next, begin on the inside of the front legs near the feet and cut up, blade facing out, around until you meet your initial cut. Work the skin away from the body along the plate and flank area and pull it towards the back of the carcass.
The next cut is from the pelvic bone along the inside to the ankle, again cutting from the inside out, with the blade facing out. Keep the flank attached to the carcass with your right hand as you pull the skin down and away from the carcass with your left.
Work the skin off the carcass gradually, with minimal use of your knife, pushing the meat away from the hide with your right hand while pulling down on the hide with your left. Use your thumbs, your elbows, your own body weight, anything you can to pull the skin off the deer. It is a little like trying to pull on a really tight pair of freshly-washed jeans.
Final Steps on How to Skin a Deer
As you work your way down to the head try to keep as much meat attached to the carcass as possible. You may notice a thin layer of meat that tends to come off with the hide. This is the muscle the animal uses to flick flies away and it is not good for eating.
As you get near the neck you will have to use your knife to detach the connective tissue. You can step on the hide to help pull it off this more difficult area. When you reach the ears, cut the hide completely away from the carcass, exposing the meat around the neck of the carcass.
Cut through the meat to expose the spinal column, or the “Atlas joint.” Take hold of the nose and one ear and twist the head until it snaps off at this joint, then cut away any remaining tissue hold the head to the rest of the carcass. The entire process should not take more than fifteen minutes.
References for How to Skin a Deer
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